Tuesday’s shock attack on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital has put residents of the ancient city under an atmosphere of fear.
Although, Borno State is the epicenter of Boko Haram’s insurgency, Maiduguri, the state capital has enjoyed relative peace for some time.
Governor Babagana Zulum described the attack as “a new trend”, which he said security agents must devise a means to prevent.Zulum gave the death toll as 10 and about 50 other injured when the insurgents shot Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) targeting civilians.
The governor said: “Indeed it is a very sad moment for the people and government of Borno state, about 60 persons were affected, among them, 10 have died. It was as a result of long-distance shots fired by the insurgents. I believe this is a new trend we have to raise up and stop. We experienced a similar incident exactly one year ago. The solution is to deploy an appropriate form of technology, which we will have to work on. I share the pains of all those affected but we are not just visiting hospitals, we do so much behind the scene in our combined responses to the Boko Haram insurgency and we will keep making these and more efforts”.
The governor was at the State Specialist Hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, where the injured were being treated.
It was gathered that the insurgents instead of the usual suicide bombing with IEDs, decided to use rocket propelled launchers with grenade into the city resulting in the deaths.
A security source said: “The insurgents on Tuesday night, came from Kaleri, an outskirts of Maiduguri, northeastern of University of Maiduguri, where they lunched their mortar guns which traveled to hit Gwange and Adam Kolo communities. Both communities are densely populated.
The source added: “Most of the deaths occurred in Gwange. One of the RPG shots hit a children’s play ground in Gwange”.
An official at the ICRC facility inside the State Specialist Hospital said they were treating 27 victims of the attack at their facility but some of the most critically injured were moved to the University of Maiduguri teaching Hospital.
The governor directed the ministry of Health to take over the medical bill of the victims and prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead.
Some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent expressed fear that if similar attacks continue, Maiduguri would be turned into an unsafe town.
Adamu Yunusa, a resident of Kaleri, said: “I have never been scared like this since Boko Haram started. What happened on Tuesday night is very dangerous. If those boys can stay in safe places and launched grenades on civilians, then we are finished.”
A lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, said: “This new wave of attack is dangerous and shrouded in uncertainty. Before this attack, the people were feeling that this thing was almost coming to an end but what happened has taken us back seriously.
“The pandemonium that the attack has created has brought Maiduguri back to the early stages of Boko Haram where people were so afraid. Tuesday’s attack has also wiped out the resilience in the people because no one can tell now what the target of the insurgents.